December 1 , 2006


Homer rally tops game Rocket squad


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Brandi Henry (8), of DeRuyter, leaps for a possible block as Homer’s McKenna Riley passes ball during Trojans’ five-game non-league victory Thursday night.

Things are looking good for Homer Central early in this volleyball season. The Trojans improved to 2-0 Thursday after rallying from an early two-game deficit to defeat visiting DeRuyter in five games in an exciting non-league contest.
The Rockets (1-2 overall) took the first game 25-13 and outlasted Homer in the second game 29-27. The Trojans regrouped to win the next three games by scores of 25-23, 25-20, 25-23.
In another non-league game involving a Central Counties League team, McGraw beat visiting Harpursville 25-20, 18-25, 25-20, 25-17.
Homer over DeRuyter: “We looked dead in the first two games,” said Homer coach Brian Fox. “The team really persevered. The girls kept fighting and fighting and fighting to comeback.
“We knew we could play with DeRuyter,” Fox added after his team barely lost the second game. “We really let them control the first two games. We began passing the ball better and that led to our offense improving. We were able to control the play starting in the third game and completed the comeback to win the match.”
Sophomore Katie Wick led the Homer attack with 14 kills and two service aces. McKenna Riley added 31 assists, three kills and one ace to the Trojan attack. Other highlights included Shannan Keefe seven kills, three blocks and two aces; Jen Warren six kills and two aces; plus Taylor Walter five kills.
Kristi Custer had 28 assists, 15 kills, 10 aces and two blocks to lead DeRuyter. Brandi Henry added 15 kills, three blocks and two aces while Jen Cizenski delivered 13 assists, six kills and one ace. In addit6ion, Aubrey Schelah pounded out seven kills, Chelsea Way six kills and Polly Gallerani five kills.
“Kristi Custer is one heck of a athlete,” said Fox. “They do center things around her, but she also does things and make plays that most people can’t.”
“I though we played pretty well,” DeRuyter coach Gary Burdick said. “We did a better job of blocking, our passing was decent and our hitting good. Homer is a good team.” 
Homer will continue its homestand Tuesday, hosting Phoenix in OHSL Freedom Division action. The JV match begins at 5:30 p.m. On Thursday, the Trojans host East Syracuse-Minoa. Varsity action will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the JV match to follow.
DeRuyter will host Brookfield in its CCL December 11, with JV action starting at 5:30 p.m.
DERUYTER JVs defeated Homer in three games by scores of 25-22, 19-25, 25-20.
McGraw over Harpursville: The Eagles improved to 2-0 as Julie Hewes had four kills and eight digs, Jen Rutan three kills, six digs and an ace and Sarah Bilodeau five assists and seven digs. “The girls controlled the ball well, played great defense and hustled,” McGraw coach Andy Smith said. “Both teams did, in fact; it was hard to get a ball to the floor as both played scrappy defense. The girls kept their heads in and never gave up on the ball, and served strong all night.”
The Eagles host Brookfield Monday to open their league season, the JV match getting things started at 5:30 p.m. 



CHS falls to Bulldogs in four

The Cortland High volleyball team fell to 0-2 in the OHSL Freedom Division and overall Thursday in a 25-23, 25-21, 15-25, 25-23 loss to visiting Nottingham.
The Purple Tigers led the first game until a string of four unforced errors gave the Bulldogs a 13-12 lead, and the visitors went on from there. Katelyn Anderson had two aces and a kill in the game.
CHS broke out to a 9-2 lead in the second game, four of those points coming from kills by Brittany Babcock. “A lack of aggressiveness allowed Nottingham to come back,” Cortland coach Mary Lou Bordwell said. “We couldn’t hold on, as Nottingham served really well.
“In the third game Kaitlyn Glover served well, allowing us to work the front line; Kim Natoli, Anderson and Alissa Clasier combined for points four through eight, and Natoli then served two aces for nine and 10. This game they finally came awake. Babcock had point 17 off a set from Natoli and Amanda Cheetham saw a spot for point 18 and hit it. Anderson served 23 and 24 for aces, and a block by Babcock gave us game point.”
The fourth game saw a back injury start to take its toll on Cheetham, who was forced to stay in at setter with no substitute available. “It really took its toll on defense, as she really could not get to the ball well,” Bordwell said. “Babcock served aces for 19, 20 and 21, and then they really took advantage of us and pounded the right side of our defense. Amanda really tried hard, but was in obvious pain. Glover had an ace for 23, then we hit a ball into the net for match point.”
Babcock went 12-for-14 hitting with 10 kills and three block kills to lead the offense, and was 16-for-17 serving with six aces. Natoli led the setters with a 49-for-53 night and also had 14 assists, was 12-for-13 on attack with seven kills and was 19-for-21 serving with five aces. She also had 165 saves, and was 12-for-16 passing to pace the defense. Cheetham went 37-for-41 setting with nine assists, 8-for-9 attack with seven kills and added seven saves.
Anderson had five kills, an ace and a block, Glover six kills and five aces and Clasier was 16-for-16 serving with an ace and three kills.
The Cortland JV team won in three games to even its record at 1-1 as, with the scored tied at 23-23 in the third game, Casey Marks then served two jump-serve aces. Julie Bush and Taylor Warren were both cited for their performances.
Both Cortland teams visit East Syracuse-Minoa Tuesday.